For five days this month we lived like true New Yorkers; sharing a third story walk-up, taking the subway all along Manhattan, and rolling in style with the true NY stroller – the Maclaren. It’s been the city-dwelling gold standard in strollers for years and I have come to realize that this honor is well deserved.
In suburbia, the bulky and clunky travel system rules the road, with the infant carseat that goes from car to sidewalk and back in mere minutes. However, in the big city, big is out. Getting around town needs to be done quickly and efficiently, two words that are never used to describe travel systems when utilizing mass transit.
The first time we visited New York, we were shocked by the sheer number of Maclarens on the sidewalk. Nearly every city parent was pushing their pick of Maclaren’s iconic scissor-back lightweight stroller line and back then, years before I had kids, I just didn’t get it. At the time I had attributed this to a name brand obsession; yet another example of consumerism and the propensity to keep up with the Joneses. It really wasn’t until our first trip into the city with children that I realized how necessary a light and portable stroller becomes when stairs and crowds are a way of life and how the quality of stroller makes all the difference.
The Maclaren design is all about functionality and style, pairing top of the line materials and years of expertise with models to last from birth to 55 lbs. We were lucky enough to visit the Maclaren showroom in SoHo, where the expert staff helped us pick the perfect stroller for our family. By merely asking three questions about what we needed our stroller to do, the staff quickly had a 2009 Maclaren Quest ready for us, and in no time at all we were out the door and hitting the city streets in style.
As it turns out, the Quest was the perfect stroller for us, and especially for baby. Having a lightweight and compact stroller was a bit of a change for us since we’re used to carrying a full week’s worth of groceries off the handles of our suburban workhorse. But, we realized pretty quickly the benefits of a lightweight stroller for the family on the go. And, with the Maclaren, we found that we didn’t have to give up on quality and high end features to get to that light weight.
The Quest is Maclaren’s middleweight stroller, without all the extras (and weight) you need for an infant, but with more features than a bare bones umbrella stroller. Some of the extras you do get include a 4 position reclining seat, adjustable foot rest, a foldable hood with included raincover, and a good sized basket. Another feature we really appreciated was the shoulder strap for use when folded, which was great for getting up and down stairs.
Normally, if you see a feature list as long as the Quest's, you would imagine that it would require an entire trunk to transport. Well known for their premium features in a tiny package, Maclaren is perfect for those on the go or those who actually need their trunk for anything other than baby gear. If you travel, play in the city, or merely like to be as portable as possible, Maclaren has a stylish, sporty or svelte (or all three!) model that allows you to get baby out in the world safely and comfortably without requiring a separate set of wheels to transport it around town.
Features of the 2009 Quest, as told by Maclaren:
• Basic Weight – 5.5kg / 12.1lb (without hood, shopping basket or raincover)
• Recline – Four seat positions
• Wheel Size – 12.7cm / 5.0in
• Hood – Longer for extra coverage – Round with storage pocket – UV protective viewing window – Reflective accents for night safety
• Added Features – Vibrant colours – Larger hood; easy-on, easy-off – Hubcap design – Ergonomically optimised, foam insulated handles – Carry Strap and Carry Handle – Foot-operated linked parking brakes - Extendable leg rest – Raincover (Some exclusions apply in the US) – Height adjustable shoulder harness
And, of course every Maclaren comes with the following:
• Sovereign Lifetime Warranty™
• Maclaren Recycling Programme†
• 5 point harness for added security
• Removable washable seat
• Compact umbrella fold
• Water resistant hood
• High-performance aluminium frame
• Handy mesh shopping basket
• Carry strap or handle for easy portability
• 5 second one-hand fold
• Lockable, front swivel wheels
There’s only one feature that I would love to see on the 2010 Maclaren Quest: adjustable height handles. Although the standard handle height is a bit taller than most umbrella-type strollers, I really wish there were options available for those on the ends of the height spectrum. Hubby would appreciate it.
Looks: Simple and sophisticated and everything in between.
Overall: There’s a good reason this is the gold standard for city strollers – it’s lightweight, it’s sturdy and it will last.
UPDATED 11/10/09: Maclaren has issued a notice for the Quest and all folding strollers requiring that a hinge cover be installed on your existing model. Click here to be directed to the Maclaren site where you can order your hinge cover to comply with the newest safety standards.
Thank you to Maclaren for providing the 2009 Quest to be reviewed. No other type compensation was received for this review.